Daily devotions


The New Tolerance - 3 -

What do you tolerate?

Reflections during the reading of the book "The New Tolerance." I will come back with some additional posts about the book.
The authors of the book "The New Tolerance" highlight many examples of how the new tolerance is spreading. In the "new tolerance" there are no absolute truths or values. Well, actually there is one single truth and value that is absolutely true and is superior to all other values: tolerance. But the new tolerance is selective. It is only tolerant of what is politically correct. Everything else the new tolerance is totally intolerant to.
In that the examples in the book are primarily collected from the North American scene, one can easily be misled into thinking that this is solely an American problem. But no. The new tolerance is equally widespread in Sweden.
One recent expression of the new tolerance in Sweden is the debate on school end-of-term ceremonies conducted in the Church. It is enough that a single student or parent feels offended by hearing the priest utter "God bless you", that all the other hundreds of students will be denied hearing the blessing pronounced upon their life. Why? Well, the new tolerance will not tolerate that there is someone who believes that there is a God and expresses it to other persons.
Another expression of the new tolerance can be found in public opinion on the web. I happened to end up on a website that has tolerance as the only guiding norm; EXPO Foundation. There they write about themselves and their values:
 "Intolerance is a social problem because it creates distrust between people and prevents coexistence. Together, we can instead take responsibility for creating a society of tolerance and respect for human rights.
The Expo Foundation is politically independent. There is no political ideology that can claim to be the only right in the fight against intolerance. However, we believe that the democratic parties and organizations together can, and should, draw a boundary against intolerant ideas. "
The fundamental valuation is to be tolerant. But they say also that it is intolerant of any ideas that they themselves perceive as intolerant. Here are some questions to the Expo-foundation:
- Can you be tolerant of the view that it is wrong to perform abortions?
- Can you be tolerant of the view that cohabiting without being married is wrong?
- Can you be tolerant of the view that homosexual activity is sin?
- Can you be tolerant of Jesus' view that there is only one right way?
Without being entirely sure I believe the answer to the above questions is no.
The new tolerance is spreading in Sweden.

Peter Baronowsky
Translated into English by Sven Ljungholm and published on fsaof.blogspot.com

Read also the comments on this blogpost here



I have previously commented on the book, "Tyranny of Preferences " twice in May and again in early June, 2012.

The publishing-Publishing Co. Timothy is releasing a book on the same important subject. You can read more about the book at the publisher's website, where they write:

"This book reveals Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, the new tolerance movement's true nature, as well as its dangerous agenda. This book will not only help you understand the modern tolerance doctrine but also to equip you so that you can counteract the insidious effects on you and your loved ones.

The book's answers will equip you to:
    -Neutralize the threat from the new tolerance by separating truth from falsehoods
    -Sincerely accept other people without endorsing their views and behavior
    -Teach your family to distinguish between acceptance and approval
    -In love deal with a hostile culture "

The book is written by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler. Bob Hostetler has previously served as officer in the Salvation Army during the period 1980-1992. Bob (Hoss) has authored many books, and you can read more about him here.

Bob Hostetler is an award-winning writer, editor, pastor and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His twenty-six books, which include The Bone Box and American Idols (The Worship of the American Dream), have sold millions of copies.

He has co-authored eleven books with Josh McDowell, including the best-selling, Right from Wrong (What You Need to Know to Help Youth Make Right Choices) and the award-winning, Don't Check Your Brains at the Door. He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award, among others. Bob is a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats. 

Bob was ordained to the ministry in 1980 by The Salvation Army. He and his wife, the lovely Robin, served in The Salvation Army from 1980-1992. 

In 2000, Bob (with his wife) helped to co-found Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio. He has served that church in leadership and teaching pastor roles. 

He has been a disc jockey, pastor, magazine editor, freelance book editor, and (with his wife Robin) a foster parent to ten boys (though not all at once). Bob and Robin have two adult children, Aubrey and Aaron, son-in-law Kevin and daughter-in-law Nina, and grandchildren Miles, Mia, Calleigh, and Ryder. They live in Hamilton, Ohio.

I will read the book over the summer months and will return with comments at the end of July. Buy it and read it in order to see if you come to the same conclusions as me.

-2-      Altering words’ meaning

Reflections during the reading of the book, "The New Tolerance." I will come back with some additional posts about the book.

The authors show in no uncertain terms how words change meaning, but that we may notice it. We may think we know what the word tolerance means. The common meaning has been what one can read in a dictionary. There, the word tolerance is explained as follows:
"To recognize and respect others' beliefs, customs and practices without sharing them"

Today, the connotation has been hijacked by those who control politically correct thinking. Today it is not enough to recognize and respect others' beliefs, one must also share them, or one is deemed intolerant. And who would  want to be termed intolerant?

If, for example, one is opposed to abortion, it is not enough to recognize and respect the free choice of abortion, one must not be opposed to abortion because one is then considered intolerant. To avoid being perceived as intolerant one must change their position and think it is OK to support abortions.

If one is opposed to cohabitation or homosexual acts, the same attitude applies. You have to believe that it is OK in order to not be branded intolerant.

Sweden has even changed the law so that in some cases it may even be an offense to express the view that homosexual acts are wrong.

By changing the content of the word one seeks to steer people's values ​​and their way of thinking.

That said, I will return ...

Peter Baronowsky
Translated into English by Sven Ljungholm and published on fsaof.blogspot.com

Read also the comments to this blogpost here


Early Sunday morning in Riga, July 29

Finally! Summer has arrived in Riga. This week was the first whole week with sun and summer temperatures this year. The week came late, but it was really longed for.
The beaches around Riga were filled by people thirsting for sun.

During the week we had also a visit from one of our sons and his family. They had really picked the right week for a trip to Latvia. When we left them at the airport Saturday afternoon we went for the Lilaste Beach for some hours in the sun with a good book.

Lilaste Beach Saturday afternoon

This week was also the start of the Olympic Games in London. Athletes from all over the world gathered to compete  A few of them will return as winners, but most of them will not return home as winners.

For all of us who cannot compete in the Olympic Games, we have another battle to fight. A fight that we all can win:
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." (1 Kor 9:24-27 NIV)

And we have also a battle to fight together. I am reminded of that fight every morning when I look out through my bedroom window in Riga. I am reminded about our battle and the reason why I live: "Latvia for Christ".

We have not won that battle yet, buy we are winning more and more.

Now it is Sunday morning and soon time to go down to the Sunday morning meeting at our home corps, Riga 1. It feels as it it was a long time ago we took part in a meeting at the corps, but we have lately been travelling around to the different corps for welcome and farewell meetings.

Have a blessed week Peter Baronowsky

Early Sunday morning in Riga, July 22

Another Sunday morning. This week we have spent many hours sitting in the car.

Thursday we went down to Daugavpils, close to the border to Belarus to have talks with the new Corps Leaders. We left Riga nine o´clock in the morning and returned home twelwe hours later.

Friday we went up to Ainazi close to the border to Estonia, way up north. I Ainazi we have our regional youth camp and we visited the evening program. Here are all the participants at the Camp:

...and here you can see all the children in consentrated listening:
....and here you can here them singing and see them moving at the Evening gathering:

The evening programs ends with snacks:

...and here all the children are taking farewell of you:

On the way home to Riga we could see the sunset over the Riga Bay:
...and when we finally arrived in Riga at midnight we could sum up the day with three sentences:
-Latvia is beautiful
-We have great youth workers
-God is good

Now it is Sunday morning and we are going down to Iecava to lead the Sunday meeting. After that we are going directly to the airport to meet one of our sons with his family. They will spend some days in Riga.

And then....another week and I pray it will be a blessed week for you.
Peter Baronowsky


Headlines week 29

International Conference of Leaders: Praise for answered prayer

- TSA international website - "THE concluding day of the 2012 International Conference of Leaders was filled with praise for answered prayers throughout the event. The Chief of the Staff, Commissioner Barry C. Swanson, led the final meeting with many leaders testifying to God’s faithfulness and echoing the opening prayer of Commissioner Marja Van Vliet that ‘God (would) make us one Army – in Christ, in truth, in fellowship, in hope and in covenant’."

Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?

- New York Times - "But if conservative Christianity has often been compromised, liberal Christianity has simply collapsed. Practically every denomination — Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian — that has tried to adapt itself to contemporary liberal values has seen an Episcopal-style plunge in church attendance."

Theology of Glory vs. Theology of the Cross

- The Christian Post - "It is not exactly breaking news to say that our culture has an aversion to suffering, regardless of how inescapable it may be. This is because we-you and me-have an aversion to suffering. Who wants to suffer? But the conscious avoidance of pain is one thing; the complete intolerance, or outright denial of it, is another."


Early Sunday morning on the Baltic Sea, July 15

Cajsa, one day old
Another night crossing the Baltic Sea. This time on my way to Riga after two weeks of vacation.

One highlight during the two weeks was of course the birth of another grandchild. She was born in Norway where one of our sons lives together with his family. The day after birth we visited the mother and the child. This is how she looks the second day of her life. I do not think she looks very much like Grandfather. What do you think?

Now, back to work.

The coming week we will have our Regional Children´s Camp in Ainaze, 100 kilometers north of Riga, by the coast close to the Estonian border.

Our Youth Leaders have been preparing the camp for several months and the children, taking part of the camp, come from all over Latvia. The theme for the camp is "Spy Kids".

We would appreciate some days without rain for a change during the camp.

I hope it will be a blessed week even for you.
Peter Baronowsky


Promoted to Glory

Major Göran Larsson was promoted to glory on the 11th of July 2012, after struggeling with cancer for more than three years. Major Larsson served in Latvia as Regional Commander between 2006 and 2009. Please pray for Chris and the other family members.

Headlines week 28

"We will wait on the God who loves to surprise us"
- TSA international website - "GENERAL Linda Bond declared to the International Conference of Leaders convened in Toronto, Canada that: ‘Anytime his people meet together, he wants to come with the unimaginable, the unexpected and the impossible. So we will wait on the God who loves to surprise us.’ "

Mars Hill Church Outlines What It Takes to Be a Christian, Member
- The Christian Post - "Many churches allow anyone and everyone to become a member of the church. They get to vote on things. They get to lead ministries. They get to teach others. We do want to welcome everyone, but we reserve official membership of the church for those who know and love Jesus," Driscoll said in his message Sunday."


Early Sunday morning, July 8

I am waking up an early Sunday morning on Jelöy, a big island in the Oslo Fjord, belonging to the city of Moss. Twentytwo years ago we lived and worked here at the Salvation Army Folk High School. And now, many years later, we are visiting one of our sons working as a fottball teacher at the same school.
Last year TSA in Norway moved all their training programs to Jelöy starting The Salvation Army Resource Center with: The Folk High School, the School for Officers´ Training, the School for Staff, Local Officers and Volunteers.

Here are some pictures from the new facilities:
The School Building under reconstruction
The School for Officers and Staff Training
The Conference Center
The Corps Building facing the Oslo Fjord
The view from the son´s House (which used to be our view point many years ago)
The view from the room in the dormatory which we used during our stay. Here you can also see our son´s "Class Room", the football field
We even took a boat trip around the island
Now another week is sooncoming up
I pray it will be a blessed week for you
Peter Baronowsky


Headlines week 27

You, Me, Us, God: Partnership and the Cape Town Commitment
- The Lausanne Movement - "This month's focus from The Cape Town Commitment is Partnership. 'A divided Church has no message for a divided world.  Our failure to live in reconciled unity is a major obstacle to authenticity and effectiveness in mission.' "

- TSA webpage - "WHILE the Olympic Torch Relay is making its way around the United Kingdom some Salvation Army divisions have been inspired to organise a relay of their own, passing a 'prayer torch' between corps (churches) and other centres. Prayer relays are taking place in Central South, London Central, London North-East and London South-East Divisions."

 Dreams, Visions Moving Muslims to Christ
- Charisma News - "Missionaries to the Muslim world say dreams and visions, along with satellite television, are introdcing Muslims to Jesus in unprecedented numbers."


Post in English

The blogposts in English have moved.

You will find them all here:

Early Sunday morning, July 1

Another week still waiting for summer.

This week we have continued with the different Welcome Meetings after the Congress. The new Officers have received their new orders and are getting settled in their new appointments.

This week we had the Welcome Meeting in Iecava...
...Liene talked...
...Karina talked...
...and finally flowers and hugs.

This week we have also had a full page about The Salvaton Army in the major daily paper in Latvia, Latvijas Avize. You can read the report here.
And now we are entering the second half of the year, may it be a blessed time for you.
Peter Baronowsky